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South: The ENDURANCE Expedition Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 1999
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About the Author
Sir Ernest Shackleton, C.V.O. (1874-1922) is regarded as perhaps the greatest of all Antarctic explorers. He was a member of Captain Scott's 1901-1903 expedition to the South Pole, and in 1907 led his own expedition on the whaler Nimrod, coming within ninety-seven miles of the South Pole, the feat for which he was knighted. The events of that expedition are chronicled in his first book, The Heart of the Antarctic. He is considered one of England's greatest heroes for his actions during the ill-fated Endurance expedition, leading all of his men to safety after being marooned for two years on the polar ice. South is his recounting of this expedition. He died at age forty-seven during his final expedition, and was buried in the whaler's cemetary on South Georgia Island in the South Atlantic.
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For the armchair traveler who becomes fully immersed in their reading, this book will take you to the Antarctic to experience, in detail, the heartbreak, determination, hope, despair, and sheer determination of men who survived in and returned from a hopeless place - not because they didn't give up, but because they never all gave up at the same time, they had strong intelligent leaders, and they worked together even when they did not entirely agree with, or like each other.
Full of interesting true details too of how an expedition was formed, and ships were procured, provisioned and staffed before we had such things as freeze-dried foods, refrigerators, steel, antibiotics, .... all the stuff that simply did not exist in the early 1900s.
Anyone heading into desolate polar regions on a vacation excursion today owes it to themselves to read this fascinating book, before you go.
You'll have a much better appreciation that you are going there with very high assurances of returning whole, healthy and on schedule, having seen (and endlessly photographed) some of the wonders of that savage world in the comfort of warm dry clothes, on well-planned landings from a ship where you are well fed, and sleep warm & safe at night.
The expedition was in several parts, Shackleton's being just one, and each had their tales of woe. The reader that complained about being bored at the end is just missing the point.
The edition is virtually typo free and very much recommended. The lessons learned are used today in managerial circles. It's incredible to think that we are learning things now that were known about so long ago.
Leaders like this are a rare breed and stories like this are rarer still. Wonderful, thrilling reading and for the princely sum of nothing at all, how can you go wrong?
As a thought, the diagrams and pictures would have been a nice addition to this Kindle book but I did see on the Windows 8 version a list of maps and illustrations. Maybe that's for PC only but I'm not complaining.
Now to read about Scott.